Rupert Murdoch's $30M Property Evacuated As Skirball Fire Hits Bel-Air

Rupert Murdoch

On Wednesday, former Hillary Clinton advisor Neera Tanden deleted a tweet mocking 21st Century Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch - whose house was said to be burning down in the California wildfires. On its website the Getty Center said it would be closed "to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region". "It's Rupert Murdoch's property, that's what we're hearing from the neighbors who live here in Bel Air". The property has been evacuated but based on what we're seeing on TV there may be damage to some buildings in the upper vineyard area.

The 90,000-acre fire burning in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles, has swept through ridges and canyons to the sea and Santa Ana winds that drove it are expected to return with a vengeance overnight.

Murdoch acquired the 13-acre property in 2013 for $28.8 million, according to Forbes. NBC reported that staff at the villa was ordered to evacuate the property, which features a 7,500-square-foot house that's surrounded by olive trees and chicken.

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In Ventura, some 80km northwest of Los Angeles, more than 1,000 firefighters battled the largest, the Thomas Fire, which has already destroyed more than 150 homes and threatened thousands more. Several homes in the Bel-Air neighborhood had caught fire, Hollywood Life reported.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, freeing state funds and resources to assist firefighters. The fire is now being fought by hundreds of firefighters, Los Angeles Daily News reports, and at least four homes have already been destroyed.

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